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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Yaesu FT-470 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-470
Yaesu FT-470 Reviews: 27 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $395.00
Description: 2m/440 Dual Band HT
Product is in production.
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KD6ANF Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2006 19:17 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
After passing the technician class test in August '91, the next stop "indirectly" on the way home was to HRO in Oakland, CA to purchase a new Yaesu FT-470 Dual-Band Handie. Many radio manufacture's brochures were collected and evaluated many months prior to deciding on this particular model.

Still to this day, it is carried everywhere, and has performed flawlessly from day one. Well, actually it was dropped on four separate occasions by clumsiness on my part, and each time sent back to Yaesu for repair, which was handled very efficiently. Yaesu even replaced the rubber PTT cover and DTMF keypad because of excessive wear, without charging me, that's right, at their expense, which was considered thoughtful on their part.

This radio when first put into service, in addition to being used portable most of the time, was also operated as a base station with an external power supply, speaker mic, external speaker, and connected to a Copper Cactus J-Pole mounted on the roof. In this base station configuration, it was also used for packet operation, and worked well.

There are those who'll say this radio is on the large side, although personally, I consider the newer radios on the market rather on the small side, my FT-51R included.

Eyesight isn't what it used to be but still able to operate this radio easily, even while operating a motor vehicle. Having CTCSS encode and decode as standard is an advantage. Scanning both bands using a FNB-12 provides about twelve hours of continuous receive operation, scanning just one band provides about twenty hours of continuous receive operation. Personal experience indicates just over four years of service life from the MAHA MH-FNB-12 battery packs.

Issues which could have been improved upon during design: When scanning just one band, the radio's keypad cannot be locked. Audio volume could be louder. As mentioned in another review, the signal strength meter doesn't indicate which band is being received.

After performing the keypad mod for extended UHF receive, this particular radio will no longer operate offsets correctly on UHF, display shows "ERR" during PTT. After resetting the CPU proper operation is restored. This keypad mod has been committed to memory and takes only a few moments to complete when needed.

The stock YHA-28 antenna works well, however, there are many other antennas available. Personal favorites include: Maldol MH-209, at just under three inches in length, it is used most of the time and provides acceptable performance for local repeaters in the area. The Diamond RH77B at just under fifteen inches in length, (a real "arm pit poker"), is an excellent antenna for portable operation and provides great performance. Used on occasion is the Diamond RH3, which is a "stubby" at just under two inches, is really useless except for receiving local activity.

Using a HP 8560A spectrum analyzer the following results were obtained:
Fundamental Output: Power (W) = 5.62 watts.
Displayed frequency: = 146.52 Mhz
Actual frequency: = 146.519909 Mhz - only 91 Hz off

Second Harmonic (dBc) = -59.33
Third Harmonic (dBc) = -63.50

FM Modulation: Deviation (Khz pk-pk) = 9.46

Key-Up Residuals: Less than -50 dBm

Key-Down Spurious Outputs:
Spurious Amplitude (dBc) = -78.83
Spurious Frequency (Mhz) = 141.660563
Spurious Amplitude (dBc) = -78.67
Spurious Frequency (Mhz) = 190.856832

Overall, the FT-470 is a fine example of a fifteen year old portable dual-band radio and provides great performance and functionality. Should you come across one in excellent condition, you may consider it for just starting out or a back-up unit.
M0DCD Rating: 5/5 Apr 11, 2006 06:43 Send this review to a friend
Idiot proof (I'm one)  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was originally planning that my new FT60 would replace this one that I bought new fourteen years ago.
Now when with Raynet the dual receive is very useful, and getting the battery packs refurbished brought this back to life.
Like others, the solder joint on the BNC parted company but that's the total amount of trouble the unit itself has been.
The receiver suffers from pager QRM occasionally but the only annoying thing is the low number of memories (but that's its era).
Looks bashed about and well used because it has been, but it's not going to be binned hopefully for a long time yet.
N0MUD Rating: 5/5 Mar 22, 2006 06:23 Send this review to a friend
Excellent HT  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
A buddy of mine bought one so he could be in contact with me when he is mobile, so I found one on sale, here in E-ham, the price was cheaper than what my friend paid so I bought it. It's a brick but it's better than the Kenwood bricks of that time frame. I like the idea of dual band, dual receive. This HT is not a wide as the Kenwoods TM-215/315's models and fits in the hand comfortably. The new batteries of course hold a good charge. That is the only thing I have had to do was buy new batteries so I did on the W&W Battery site. Got a good price for two, and I have the drop in charger. HT listens and talks good. The only ones I have seen are used, if you need a good HT, dual band just keep looking you will find one on either this site or QRZ classified and/or ARRL classifieds. Prices are very reasonable but I wouldnt spend over $125.00 because now your getting into prices of new HT's.

Keep looking and good Hamming...

73's NØmud
WR1H Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2006 19:50 Send this review to a friend
This puppy rock !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I boughth the radio in 1990. I used pretty heavily up until 1992. Then I got out of the hobby and the radio stayed packed away, in several houses, through several moves.

I just started using it again a few weeks ago. Thats after 16 years since I bought it !.

The unit kicks a$$. All my fellow hams have their new units with problem after problem, complain after complaint. My FT-470 is so good, I now have people hunting EBAY for some.

It puts out a true 5 watts, and is built like a tank !

Like some said previously, it will double as a weapon !

I was going to buy a new HT, but I guess the little FT-470 is still eager to please. If you have one, keep it. If you don't, get one !
NE0P Rating: 4/5 Aug 9, 2005 22:04 Send this review to a friend
Good dual band HT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been using one of these HTs recently, and it does a pretty good job. Does true dual receive and full duplex, so you can listen on one band while you are transmitting on the other. Makes it very useful for satellite work, although I didn't try mine on the sats. It is pretty easy to figure this HT out, and it is very good on battery life. Also has tone encode and decode as standard.

Only 2 negatives on it:
1. Speaker audio is kind of low.
2. You can't tell which receiver is active. So if you get a call while in dual receive, you had better hope you hear the repeater ID, or you won't know which band you were called on.

Other than that, pretty good older Yaesu HT, and is a little big by today's standards, but still performs pretty well.
N0XAS Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2005 14:27 Send this review to a friend
Solid, reliable, can double as a club  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using mine for close to 10 years now, I think. I've had to rebuild the battery packs twice. I've used it for portable, mobile, and even fixed-station packet use. I've used it for FM satellites, monitoring weather band broadcasts during tornado warnings, and it's been knocked around in the trunk for months on end. Still as solid as the day I bought it (well used). I have had to repair the internal solder joint to the BNC once, but no other problems at all.

I was going to give it a 4 bexause the buttons are marked a little crypically in some cases. After a while without using it, I need to pull out the manual again to figure things out. It's on par with other full-featured HTs of its era in that regard. I wish I could give it a 4.5, which is closer to the mark.

I only hope its replacement, a VX-7R, can last as long as work as well.
KD5UGS Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2005 08:49 Send this review to a friend
Very nice dual-band HT  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I used to have a FT470 some time ago & I found it to be a very useful radio to have.
I plan to buy another for a backup for my current
dual-band HT.
This radio really cooks!!!!!!
KD5TKR Rating: 5/5 Feb 11, 2004 02:31 Send this review to a friend
Quality Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this radio from a local ham and it's been very dependable so far. I did have to open the radio and reflow a joint as the BNC had broken loose. I suspect this was because the radio had been attached to a fixed antenna. This radio is very solid and appears to have a bulletproof front end. I give it a 5 for being solid mechanically, and having modern features in a 10 year old radio. If you can find one for around $100, grab it quick.
K0UC Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2003 12:09 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my FT-470 at least 10 years ago and I still love it.
It IS indeed a workhorse and seems indestructible.
I bought it used from a friend who used it a LOT. And I've used it quite a bit. It looks a little beat up, but still performs well. The cross-band repeat function can come in handy at times and the radio's full-duplex capability is very nice esp. for satellite ops.
The receiver is OK in the ham bands, but as you get far away from the ham freqs, it's not the best. Wx on 162.xx is noticably weak, but usable.
My PTT still works OK, but the rubber PTT cover is quite worn.
I use my 470 for utility things like throwing under the seat in the car with the 12 Volt adapter for a quick mobile set up in the XYL's vehicle if we are travelling together (she's a ham) or for use in someone else's vehicle.
The speaker is usable, but far from ideal. In the mobile, an external speaker is nicely driven from the 470. It has plenty of output to drive the ext. speaker.
With an external mike and speaker, it DOES make a nice 5 watt "mobile."
Good radio for beginner or old-timer alike. Another great Yaesu rig.
Brady K0UC
KD5QGR Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2003 17:32 Send this review to a friend
Solid dependable HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my 470 as my first rig after getting my ticket in 2001. This radio is a bit dated in size and ergonomics, but when nothing else seems to work I reach for the 470 and its never let me down. I have an aftermarket MAHA Nimh battery that allows me to get 5W in a reasonably sized package---I highly reccomend this upgrade. I recently had the opportunity to compare it to several more modern HTs and found that while the 470 was larger, it heard about as well, and the additional size of the rig made room for a easier to read display and better controls. That and the 470 has a metal case, a big plus considering the number of times I've dropped it.
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